Snapchat, Facebook Messenger, Kik, WhatsApp, even the humble text message… we’ve all got a variety of ways to communicate with each other, and they can be a nightmare to juggle. Or, at least, Amazon seems to think so, so it’s putting out a messaging app that will corral all your other messaging apps so you can communicate with your friends all in one place.
According to BGR, the app, called Anytime, is what corporate IT nerds call a “unified communications” app. In addition to, presumably, letting you message people on Amazon’s platform, it’ll tie together all your other messaging apps. That’ll let Anytime pull off the neat stunt of being able to contact a person just by punching in their name. If you have them as a friend on one of the apps you’ve connected, it’ll ping them via that app, keeping everything in one place while allowing you to communicate across platforms.
For those interested in features, the app will have plenty, including stickers, payments, and a few components that you’ll either love or never use:
…Anytime will reportedly include a few intriguing features to help differentiate it from the rest of the pack. For instance, rumor has it that Anytime will allow users to listen to music together, order food together, and even split a restaurant bill directly from within the app. What’s more, the service is said to provide users with a way to connect directly with businesses and will enable them to “make reservations, check on orders, and even shop.”
It’s an interesting idea, but we can foresee a few roadblocks. It’s unlikely most messaging apps, especially Facebook, have any intention of granting Amazon any sort of real access to their toys, not least because the retailer is using the same “unzipping” strategy as Facebook, where you have to download a dozen different apps to access all of Amazon’s features. How useful this app will be will depend on what Amazon can offer their competitors to convinces them to join forces. Still, it’s a fascinating idea, and it might solve a real problem for text-jugglers. Now, if only Amazon could put all these apps they’re trying to make us download under one umbrella…